Nfld. & Labrador

MHA salaries frozen until at least 2015

The house of assembly's management commission unanimously voted Wednesday night to freeze MHA salaries until at least after the next provincial election in 2015.

The house of assembly's management commission unanimously voted Wednesday night to freeze MHA salaries until at least after the next provincial election in 2015.

A 2012 review of salaries and benefits paid to MHAs recommended compensation increases be tied to the consumer price index.

Environment Miniser Tom Hedderson said the MHA wage freeze is a necessary move. (CBC )

However, in a recent letter to the Speaker of the house of assembly, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said raises should be suspended, given the province's multi-billion dollar deficit projections.

Earlier this month, Kennedy predicted the budget deficits for the fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014 would total nearly $4 billion.

The freeze means that the base salary of a member of the house of assembly will remain at just over $95,000 a year.

Environment Miniser Tom Hedderson said it's a necessary move.

"This is in keeping with where our government is going ... making sure that our expenditures are kept to a minimum," he said.

Opposition blames PC government

Liberal MHA Yvonne Jones said the freeze is a sign of the times.

Liberal MHA Yvonne Jones said it's because of the current government's mismanagement that the province is facing such a dire financial situation. (CBC)

"Whatever government is in place today – whether it's Liberal, Conservative, or NDP – they're faced with the reality that someone is going to have to have better financial management going forward into the future. So, as MHAs I think it starts with us," she said.

She blamed the current PC government for putting the province in such a dire fiscal situation.

"The financial situation that we are facing right now is all because of mismanagement by the current government," she said.

"It wasn't circumstances; they have choices to make about where they spent their money and unfortunately they made bad choices."

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